Gophers Hold Golden Goldys/Scholar Awards
April 28, 2014
The University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics department recognized both the athletic and academic achievements by honoring its 750 student-athletes in a Golden Goldys/Scholar Athlete banquet, tonight at TCF Bank Stadium. It was the eighth-annual Golden Goldys recognition and 25th of the Scholar Athlete banquet.
The Golden Goldys voting process included spring sports of 2013 (baseball, men's and women's golf, rowing, softball, men's and women's outdoor track & field and men's and women's tennis) and the fall and winter sports of the 2013-14 athletic year.
With NCAA runner-up performances, both men's and women's hockey took home the team of the year awards. On the men's side, the Gophers defeated North Dakota to advance to the NCAA championship game, only to fall to Union. Head Coach Don Lucia was named the Golden Goldys Male Team Coach of the Year. Lucia led the Maroon and Gold to its first-ever Big Ten regular season title. Posting a 28-7-6 overall record and a 14-3-3 mark within the Big Ten Conference, the Gophers lost only once in the Mariucci Arena confines this season.
On the women's side, Minnesota was also the NCAA runner-up as the Gophers defeated Wisconsin, only to drop to Clarkson in the NCAA championship game. The Gophers posted a 38-2-1 overall record and accomplished a 26-1-1 WCHA league record. Minnesota won its third-straight tournament championship and the program's eighth regular season championship this season. Rachael Bona was named the Breakthrough Athlete of the Year after she doubled her point production from a year ago. For the first time in her career, Bona was named a Patty Kazmaier finalist, All-American and a Second Team All-WCHA.
Men's hockey also home the Male Athlete of the year in Adam Wilcox, while women's basketball's Rachel Banham was the Best Female Athlete. Wilcox led the Gophers as he was named the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year. A finalist for the Hobey Baker Award and the Mike Richter Award, Wilcox was also a Second Team All-American. An All-America honorable mention, Banham was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media. Her 23.3 points per game average in league games was the highest by a Big Ten player since 2002. She also broke Minnesota's single-season scoring record when she finished with 750 points.
The Outstanding Student-Athlete Achievement is presented to one male and one female who are accomplished in both areas of academics and athletics. The male recipient was men's hockey's Nate Condon. A team co-captain, Big Ten Sportsmanship award winner and academic All-Big Ten honoree, Condon also played in 41 games for the Gophers and 159 during his Gopher career. Named to the 2014 West Regional All-Tournament Team, Condon established 25 and over 100 in his tenure. A stellar student, Condon will graduate with a double major in finance and accounting from the Carlson School of Management. He was an eight-time scholar athlete and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. On the women's side, softball's Sara Moulton received the award. Still competing as the Gophers' starting pitcher, Moulton leads the Big Ten with 22 wins and 206 strikeouts and is tied for the national lead in shutouts with 11. She was named a top-25 finalist for USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year and a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Named an All-Big Ten pitcher three times so far in her career, Moulton has also been an all-region selection twice, the team's most valuable pitcher three times, and named the 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Moulton is also an eight-time scholar athlete and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten and will graduate with a degree in business and marketing communication.
Moulton's coach, Jessica Allister was named the Female Coach of the Year. In the 2013 campaign, Allister's softball team was selected to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003. After a third-place Big Ten regular season finish, softball advanced to the Big Ten title game since 1999. Allister collected 36 wins, her third-straight 30-win season in as many years as head coach and coached three First Team All-Big Ten selections.
Gopher Football received two special awards, while David Cobb was named the Breakthrough Male Athlete of the Year. After rushing for just 56 yards his previous year, Cobb broke out last year and rushed for 1,202 yards. Cobb's mark was the most by a Gopher since 2006 and ranked 12th all-time in school history. Cedric Thompson was given the Richard Pinky McNamara Student-Athlete Achievement Award, which is given to an individual who has inspired all by making an extraordinary effort to succeed despite difficult circumstances, preserving during a time of tremendous adversity and/or overcoming a great challenge (read about Thompson's journey in this July 2013 Star Tribune article: http://z.umn.ed
Football's Chris Hawthorne and rowing's Katherine Windsor were awarded Outstanding Achievement Award in Leadership and Service, given to student-athletes who are accomplished in the areas of leadership and volunteerism. The starter kicker, Hawthorne is the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) president and a National SAAC committee member. As an executive board member of the Unlimited Dance Marathon, Hawthorne has logged 239.2 community service hours. Windsor is the captain of the Gopher rowing team and co-chair of the Gopher Global. An active member on SAAC all four years, Windsor has logged 568.8 community service hours.
Women's basketball's Amanada Zahui B. and men's track's Wally Ellenson were named Rookies of the Year. An All-America honorable mention, Zahui B. was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year and All-Big Ten First Team (media), All-Big Ten Second Team (coaches). She also broke the Big Ten and Minnesota single season records for total rebounds. As a rookie with the track team, Ellenson was a First Team All-American s in the high jump, the first Gopher to earn the honors in the event since 2004. He also won a gold medal at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships in the high jump and qualified for the 2013 U.S. Junior Championships.
The Outstanding Academic Team Award was presented to the men and women's teams representing both large and small team categories. Large teams are made up of 22 members or more, as small teams are made up of 21 members or less and includes the GPAs of the past spring and fall semesters. The women's small team was women's tennis and the large team was soccer. The men's small team was men's tennis and the large team was swimming and diving.
The Top Five Award was handed out, which is given to the top five male and female student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average: Rachel Drake (track/cc), Rebecca Dyson (track/cc), Erica Meyer (softball), Jessica Plant (swimming) and Rebecca Rethwisch (track/cc), on the women's side. Nathan Fortunato (gymnastics), Mathieu Froment (tennis), Matthew Jergenson (track & field), Corey Mills (swimming & diving) and Joshua Shupe (wrestling). Drake and Justin Morinishi were awarded the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship.
The teams who had the most community service hours during the 2013-14 season was women's track and cross country and men's swimming and diving. This number is based on community service hours per team member. Women's cross country was awarded the Gladys Brooks Commitment to Academic Excellence Award, while men's golf was awarded the Norman Borlaug Commitment to Academic Excellence Award. The Teammate of the Year award went to Creative Services Jeff Keiser and Chris Lagasse and Athletic Communications Michelle Traen. The Tom H. Swain Campus Recognition Award was given to Orientation & First-Year Programs.
Best Female Team
Best Male Team
Outstanding Student-Athlete Achievement Award
Gladys Brooks and Norman Borlaug Commitment to Academic Excellence Award
Top Five Awards (top five GPAs for both men and women)
Tom H. Swain Campus Recognition Award
Richard "Pinky" McNamara Student-Athlete Achievement Award
Community Service Team Award
Outstanding Academic Team Award